Portrait: Triple European Champion Christian Ahlmann

3 min.

Christian Ahlmann, a prominent figure in the equestrian world, was born in Marl, Germany in 1974. He began his close relationship with horses at the age of six, and his passion for horse sport has only grown stronger over time.

Early Life and Career

Ahlmann started riding at the age of eleven, and it quickly became clear that he had a natural talent for it. Ahlmann’s father and brother were both active in horse sports and encouraged him to follow in their footsteps. His father’s involvement in harness racing helped promote Ahlmann’s love for horses and competitive spirit.

At the age of 14, Ahlmann won the coveted “Goldenes Reitabzeichen” prize based on his success in show jumping, and at the same age, he began competing at the international level. As he grew up, Ahlmann continued to refine his skills and compete in various equestrian events. In his early career, he rode for Paul Schockemöhle and Ludger Beerbaum.

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After a successful youth career, including being part of the German team that won the Young Rider European Championships in both 1993 and 1994, Ahlmann had his big breakthrough as a senior rider in 2003. This was the year he and his horse Cöster won both team and individual gold at the European Championships. The following three years, the pair continued their success, winning medals at both the next two European Championships, the 2004 Olympics, and the 2006 World Championships.

Taloubet Z

The 2008 Olympics was a turning point in Ahlmann’s career. He and three other show jumpers were found guilty of doping as a result of using the banned substance capsaicin. This resulted in his exclusion from the individual final and retroactively affected the results for the German team.

After a two-year ban from representing Germany in all equestrian competitions and Cöster’s retirement, prospects for new career highlights for Ahlmann were not good. This changed when a special horse became part of Ahlmann’s story.

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Foto: Malgré Tout Media Archive, Global Champions Tour

Ahlmann and Taloubet Z began competing together in 2009, and at this point, the stallion was already seen as one of the most talented show jumpers of his generation. Before Ahlmann started riding Taloubet Z, it was his wife, Judy-Ann Melchior, who rode him. However, it quickly became clear that Melchior and the extraordinarily powerful stallion were not quite a match. Therefore, Ahlmann began riding Taloubet Z, and their partnership quickly proved to be a great success. Taloubet Z and Christian Ahlmann competed at the highest level for nine years and achieved several great results during this period.

A long list of Grand Prix wins, World Cup gold, as well as medals at both the European Championships and Olympics make up the highlights of Ahlmann’s partnership with Taloubet Z. The stallion’s success and natural talent have made him one of the best show jumpers in recent times, and he is highly sought after as a breeding stallion.

In 2018, Taloubet Z was retired at the age of 18, and this was marked in the finest way possible, with a win in the World Cup qualifying event in Leipzig. Ahlmann continues to ride at the highest level. His horses since Taloubet Z include, for example, Mandato Van De Neerheide and Dominator 2000 Z, which he rode during the World Championships in Herning.

While he has experienced setbacks along the way, Ahlmann has held firm and continued to excel in his sport. His passion for horses and equestrianism is as strong as ever, and his dedication to his craft is an inspiration to many.

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